Dallas Fort Worth Is Emerging As an Innovation Hub
Dallas Fort Worth has long been known as a place for business and culture, but the city is now attracting technology companies, start-ups and tech talent.
Dallas is home to 24 corporate innovation centers, including operations run by AT&T, IBM and Microsoft. It also hosts HackDFW, a 48-hour innovation event where college students and recent graduates work with a range of local companies.
The Dallas Fort Worth metro area is a hub of innovation, with an array of tech companies and tech talent. The region’s corporate technology centers, which house teams from different lines of business and work on everything from global payments to virtual reality, are driving innovation for companies like JPMorgan Chase, MoneyGram, Charles Schwab and more.
The region is also a hot spot for biotech and medical startups, with dozens of DFW companies ranking on Deloitte’s 2021 Technology Fast 500. These include Peloton Therapeutics and Taysha Gene Therapies, which each saw $1 billion exits in the last two years.
In addition to tech, Dallas Fort Worth is home to one of the country’s top-rated data infrastructure industries and a growing number of corporations that provide back office services such as finance and insurance. The city is also a leader in implementing new policies to allow workers to work remotely, which is crucial in the gig economy.
Another major sector in the Dallas Fort Worth area is the physical health industry. This includes companies that provide medical services, products and technologies such as the iter8 Health Innovation Community. The community is located in the Near Southside and aims to boost growth of the biotech space by combining the region’s medical industry with local entrepreneurs.
In the past few years, the iter8 Health Innovation Community has been branded to help connect residents and visitors with the area’s unique and diverse offerings. This branding is a big part of what will make the innovation district successful in the future, according to Hayden Blackburn, director of tech for the city. He explained that this initiative will also focus on walkability, connectivity and placemaking. In addition to these efforts, the project will also address workforce housing, transit improvements and connections between the various districts of the city.
If you have ever heard the term “inventor” you likely know that it refers to a person who comes up with an idea and takes it from a concept to a product. Often, it takes time and money to get an invention from idea to reality, but many inventors are successful in their efforts.
If you are an inventor or entrepreneur in Dallas Fort Worth, you can benefit from a number of resources and opportunities. There are plenty of small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development tools and international study that will help you hone your skills and gain the experience needed to succeed in the industry.
There are also organizations like InventKansas, which provides education on the various steps and processes of developing an invention and protecting it. The organization is a great resource for people looking to develop a new idea, as well as for businesses who want to learn more about patenting and intellectual property rights.
For those who aren’t familiar with the process of patenting an invention, it can be a daunting task. There are several ways to find out if your idea has merit and can be patented, including using an invention analysis service or consulting with a patent attorney.
You can also contact the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for help with your idea, which can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. The office recently opened a satellite office in Dallas that serves as a valuable resource for local inventors.
Some of the most famous American inventors include Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. These men were able to develop and implement a wide range of inventions, from the lightning rod to the iron furnace stove (Franklin Stove). Their ideas are still used today, proving that if you have a good idea, it’s worth investing the time and effort into developing and protecting it.
Inventor Assistance Center
When you’re an inventor, it can be difficult to figure out the best way to protect your invention and make it available to potential customers. That’s why the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is opening a regional office in Dallas to help inventors navigate the process.
The agency’s head, Michelle Lee, says Dallas was chosen because of its central location, the high number of patent applications in the region, the low cost of living and its vast technical resources. It also offers easy access to patent attorneys and the USPTO’s national network of examiners.
Biotech companies that operate in the Dallas Fort Worth area can take advantage of the city’s thriving startup ecosystem and support networks. There are several prominent startup accelerators and innovation centers located in the region that help entrepreneurs identify, launch and grow their startups.
TechFW – Established in 1998, TechFW helps emerging technology companies and entrepreneurs identify technologies with potential for commercialization, and then provides them with resources, mentoring and coaching to help them reach their goals. TechFW also operates the ThinkLab Startup Accelerator in Dallas at Pegasus Park.
Health Wildcatters – Founded in 2013, Health Wildcatters is an incubator that helps healthcare technology startups launch their products and services by providing them with the knowledge, skills and resources needed to succeed. Their 12-week programs help startups achieve results that can take months or years to develop in traditional startup environments.
Blue Cross Blue Shield C1 Innovation Lab – Located in Downtown Dallas, the lab is a primary hub for collaboration, incubation and development of new health and technology solutions. The lab focuses on digital health, medical device, AI and robotics to help improve the way people receive care.
Incubators in the Area
Business incubators are organizations that provide work space, resources, support and sometimes capital to help entrepreneurs launch an idea or company. Incubators can be nonprofits or for-profits, and typically focus on a specific industry or stage of development.
Incubators can be a good way for startups to find their legs and grow quickly. They offer work space, networking opportunities and mentorship. They are also often an indicator that a community values entrepreneurship and has an environment that supports it.
TechFW and LaunchBio launched the Dallas ThinkLab in September, which provides space, mentorship and a range of support services to eight startup businesses. The companies are developing medical devices that could improve patient experiences and outcomes.
The incubator also will help with market research, product analysis and business planning. It will give participants access to lab space, MBA-student interns and faculty advisers.
It will also have an entrepreneurs-in-residence program. The incubator will help with introductions to investors.
A growing number of business incubators are for-profit, and some offer a hybrid approach that combines an accelerator with a venture capital firm. One example is CoHabitat, which offers space and networking for entrepreneurs in a large house in Dallas’ Uptown area for as little as $150 a month.
Another incubator is Health Wildcatters, a mentor-driven seed accelerator that supports healthcare firms with the goal of improving their services. It offers a range of programs that cover important topics for Dallas startups, such as brand mission planning and channel strategy.
UT Dallas has an extension of its Venture Development Center in the Hall Park building, providing free and paid programs for entrepreneurs. The program includes CEO leadership startup boot camps, a series on fundraising and sales and marketing for startups, and mentoring office hours.
SBDC in the Area
If you’re thinking about starting a small business, or want to take your current company to the next level, check out your local SBDC. They offer no-cost, one-on-one consulting services geared to specific businesses.
For instance, in Texas, the Texas SBDC Technology Commercialization Center offers a free nine-week workshop for entrepreneurs. It helps them map their innovation-to-market commercialization path, apply for federal money through the $4 billion America’s Seed Fund program and validate customer needs.
Another example is Peloton Labs, an SBDC incubator accelerator for startup founders in Maine. The program offers a variety of resources, including office space and support staff.
Its first cohort includes 12 companies, including TrustedRentr, a startup that aims to reinvent the apartment application process.
The organization has a focus on helping regional entrepreneurs commercialize innovative technologies and matching community resources with their passion for innovation. The organization also supports the growth of technology companies and their ability to create jobs in Fort Worth and beyond.
As a partner with the Dallas Public Library, it provides workshops on using library databases and free business checklist worksheets for entrepreneurs to help them get their business off the ground. Other resources include a free business plan writing service, and a free networking group for small businesses called LinkingDFQ.
In addition to this, the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce is a founding member of Venture Dallas, which helps investors find opportunities in the area and connects them with startups that need capital to grow.
As part of the Small Business Administration, the Texas SBDC is a leader in providing no-cost, customized, one-on-one business assistance to small business owners. Its network of field centers and satellite offices across the state provides one-stop services to current and potential small business owners.